Luxury golf and wine holidays in the Algarve
Since the 1960s the Algarve has been synonymous with golf holidays and over the last 50 years it has attracted the very best golfers and the finest course designers in the world.
A renowned location for golfing holidays, the Algarve is home to some of Europe’s best golf courses designed by such golfing glitterati as Arnold Palmer, Frank Pennick and Michael Hawtree and is a draw for golfers from around the world.
It also has a growing reputation as a wine tourist destination and it’s the combination of these two passions that can create a memorable Algarve golf holiday for you and your family.
While golf enthusiasts book our holidays to play on such illustrious courses as the Millenium course, Laguna, Penina and Alto FBs their better halves are enjoying touring the vineyards of the Algarve’s four winemaking regions, Lagos, Portimao, Lagoa and Tavira creating a harmonious blend of golfing days and extra-circular activities for yourself and your partner to enjoy.
Fine wine and golf have gone together hand in golfing glove for decades with many golfers doubling up as oenophiles, some famous golfers have turned their hand to winemaking over the last decade (Ernie Els, Luke Donald and Ratief Goosen to name a few) and it’s not uncommon to book a da’s wine-tasting between golf days in many golf holiday itineraries as well as vineyard visits often being the saving grace of a married couple’s golfing holiday. Vineyard visits can be a welcome break from non-stop golf and provide a welcome and delicious distraction from a sub-par day on the links.
Famous locations for wine & golf holidays include South Africa, California and in France, Bordeaux and the Loire Valley but it is Portugal, with its range of red, white, sparkling and sweet wines that offers the most diverse range of tasting experiences with vineyards on your doorstep in the Algarve as the toast of Portugal, the red and fortified wines of the Douro valley are celebrated throughout the country and guaranteed to be found on the 19th hole at any Algarve golf resort.
What wines can you enjoy in Portugal?
The most famous fortified wine in the world hails from Portugal and is fortified in the city of Porto. Vinho do Porto is the pride of Portugal and has a long history with the British as both producer and prime importer.
Many of the most famous Port houses had and still have British connections with famous names like Grahams, Sandemans, Cockburns, Churchills and Taylors all formed by British families, most of whom continue to run the estates. Made from primarily from the Touriga Nacional grape with Tinta Amarela, Tinta Barroca, Touriga Franca, Tinta Cão and Tinta Roriz potentially in the blend, this wine from the Douro can be found throughout Portugal and everywhere in the Algarve.
The reds of the Douro valley have been the toast of the in-crowd in the wine community for almost a decade thanks to their top notch quality, ability to age and relative low price. Still somewhat of a hidden secret, Portuguese still reds are luscious, concentrated and dense.
The best examples have firm tannins that allow them to age for 10–15 years or more. The Dão, with its granite soil, produces wines that are driven by minerality and structure and are surprisingly complex.
The very south of Portugal is a dry, hot place ideal for golf, tricky for grapes, although like in Jerez across the border, there is a surprising amount of red and white wines produced in the Algarve itself.
DOs Lagos, Portimao, Lagoa and Tavira contain similar soils of sandy, clayey, limestone, sandstone and litholithic areas, with rare schistose zones on the mountain slopes.
These soils are a terrific breeding ground for both white and red grapes with the white Arinto, Malvasia Fina, Manteúdo and Síria producing fruity wines, while the red varieties of Castelão and Negra Mole are often blended with other grapes of the Douro and Tempranillo too. There are plenty of vineyards to explore in the Algarve too with enotourism alive and well and winery visits encouraged and often free.
Where to stay on a golf and wine holiday in the Algarve
To explore the best of the Algarve golfing scene and be on the doorstep of some of the finest Algarve vineyards we recommend a stay at the Monte Rey Golf Club and Villas in Tavira. Here you can enjoy the best golf course in the Algarve plus be on the doorstep of the vineyards of Tavira with their many winery tours bookable directly with the hotel concierge.
Written by Sarah Newton
MD of Swisscave Resellers, Coolersomm.